Look, all I want to do is to loose 2 ounces of blubber a day. That's a pound of flesh a week. No need to be merciful just take it! Is that too much to ask? I'm prepared to put in the leg work; stumble out of the lift and head for the gym twice a day if necessary, then cruise up and down the pool, 20 lengths under the soft lights strung in the palm trees at night. I can do that. But I need some incentive. I need a weighing machine. These visual checks are discouraging, and a women of my sensibilities can only take so much reality. At present the only gauge I have is the zipper - two bust, and three holding.
So, I went down to the Parkson Grand at the Gurney Plaze and approached the toothless Malay in the Electrical department who was lazily securing a cardboard box with 16 rolls of sticky tape.
'Could someone help me? I want to buy a weighing machine'
'Nobloddy" This time accompanied with sweeping gesture round the vast acreage of the store.
Well, we had a bit of a wrestle about the nobloddy factor. The Parkson is a huge department store by Penang standards with nobloddy in it most of the time, and definitely nobloddy buying, ever.
OK, he'd come and look, so we wove our way over to the tight little corner where the weighing machines were housed and started hoiking them off the shelves. Most of them are simply wrapped in sellophane so you can see the dial, the posher ones are in boxes so you can't. Trouble IS the dial is not on zero and you cannot adjust it so standing on the sellophane your calculations begin.....
"Ah! So I already weigh 23 pounds before I step on.. and NOW I weigh... so, subtract.. and.. then, that, means. NO! That's not possible. Can't be" Try another machine. "Ah! here I weigh minus 2 kilo's and now... I weigh.. so I add on ..which in pounds is.. No can't be."
This is impossible! I just want to know if these machines are accurate. My weight is a closely guarded secret, even from myself. I live in a twilight world of denial. What I need is nobloody to stand on the scales! He looks like a chap who knows his own Toothless FeatherweightChampion of the world requirements.
I pop him on the scales, (his very shiny black pointy shoes look sensational against the pink and white polka dot carapace) but alas! when I ask if he recognises 160lbs as anything near his bodyweight, he shakes his head and says "Too much, much La!"
So ,too, too much la for that machine then! (27 Ringgitts made in HEMEL HEMPSTEAD). We try a few more machines all made by 'I Guess Your Weight' in Hemel Hempstead.
I finally opt for one in a box simply because nobloddy recognises something on the dial that approximates to his own weight.
It is very ugly.
I bring it home.
It has got to be returned.
For two days I have stood peering down at the dial like a myopic heron looking for fish and seeing nothing. I have to crouch, naked, (We're talking ounces here) and only when my nose is about 2 inches away from its dial, and I resemble a ludicrous contestant at the beginning of the Handicap Freestyle Relay can I make out the runes on its face. In pounds, ounces are out of the question.
It has to go back.
Lucky I kept the box.